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Nicosia, Cyprus - No Man’s Land

Heroes Remember

Nicosia, Cyprus - No Man’s Land

Interviewer: Can you tell us, for those that don't know much about Cyprus' history and the position of Nicosia, can you tell us a little about that? I'll try to, it's been a while since I've been to Cyprus but, basically Cyprus was, was cut in I guess half, the Turkish people on one side and the Greek Cypriots on the other. And Nicosia was in the centre, it was the main city at one time and it was, it was cut in half actually as part of the, it was in the dividing line. Canada's, one of Canada's main places there was Ledra Palace. And it used to be a five star hotel actually at one time. It wasn't when we were there let me tell you that. But, you know, war damages a lot of things and that's another thing I noticed about, you know, the middle part of Nicosia there was, you know both sides, but in the middle was a big no man's land. And there was still buildings there, the weeds had grown over, there was, you know, big holes in the sides of these buildings. You can see that it had been shot up, that you know something had really gone on there at one time in the seventies. And Ledra Palace was right in the middle of that area and I stayed there a couple times, we would rotate in there. I was further out at the end of the Canadian line. But Ledra Palace was interesting. We actually found an old leger and that of you know famous people who had stayed there and I didn't know that it had been a five star hotel at one time they say. So... just walking around, especially in Nicosia, and you know it doesn't happen here, you don't really see it, that such a divide like you know armies standing on each side, you know, you're not coming in here, the other side isn't coming in here, you're not going over there. And you're walking in the middle of them you know hoping that they don't decide that they want to take the rest of the island.

Mr. Neepin explains some of the history of the conflict in Cyprus, and the significance of Nicosia.

Darcy Jeremy Neepin

Mr Neepin was born in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, and moved to Winnipeg with his family while still young. An uncle who served with the 1st Battalion of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) told him many stories as he grew up. From these stories he gained knowledge of what military life as an infantryman was like and before he turned 12 years old he was sure he wanted to serve. At the age of 18 Mr. Neepin joined the Cameron Highlanders Reserves. Being of Cree descent, he was the only Aboriginal Canadian in his recruiting class of 30. In 1990 Mr. Neepin answered the call for volunteers to join the 1st Battalion PPCLI for a peacekeeping tour in Cyprus. Having his first overseas experience under his belt, he returned home in the summer of 1991. Mr Neepin continued to volunteer for overseas peacekeeping missions, serving with the PPCLI for the 1992/93 tour in Croatia and in 1997 & 2000 in Bosnia.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Darcy Jeremy Neepin
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI)

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